Monday, August 19, 2019

Lord Dunsany gets in your brain

At least once a year, I find myself reading the early works of Lord Dunsany. (Because those are the ones that are public domain and I can’t seem to find any version of his later stuff online or even affordably in print. Seriously, who is sitting on the rights to the Jorkens stories!?)

One of the side effects of reading early Dunsany is the urge to write like he did. Ursula K. Le Guin even referred him as “the First Terrible Fate That Befalleth Unwary Beginners in Fantasy" and boy was she right. It even happened to Tolkien and Lovecraft. Neil Gaiman may have never recovered :D

(Just joking, Mr Gaiman, sir. You mastered Lord Dunsany’s tropes to tell your own stories)

And it happens to me every time.

‘In the black halls of the Fortress Inconsolable walks the almost forgotten god T’rtl Wx. All know that he is truly a god but none can recall him what nature of godhood was given to him. Even in the moldering library of Bubblbth, which lies on the far end of the catacombs of the decadent city of Rhode Hows, the oldest and most faded of scrolls mention his name but not his nature.

‘Of all the wizened sages and plucky nimble-fingers who dare to enter  the Fortress Inconsolable to seek out T’rtl Wx and discover the truth of his nature, none have yet to return. For the dark halls were built without a floor plan and every bathroom is undiscoverable.

‘And eternally does T’rtl Wx walks, forever waiting for an honestly good cup of tea for Oolong will never suffice for him.’

Seriously, Dunsany rewires your brain.

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